Citations Affected: IC 34-24-5; IC 35-38-1-7.1; IC 35-46-2; IC 35-50-2-9.
Synopsis: Bias crimes. Allows a person who suffers a personal injury
or property damage caused by a criminal offense to bring a civil action
to recover damages, including punitive damages, if the person who
committed the offense knowingly or intentionally selected the victim
because of the victim's color, creed, disability, national origin, race,
religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex. Makes commission
of a crime because of the color, creed, disability, national origin, race,
religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex of the victim an
aggravating circumstance that may be considered by a judge when the
judge imposes a sentence for the crime. Expands the scope of the
offenses relating to civil rights to include violations directed at a person
because of the person's sexual orientation.
Effective: July 1, 2007.
January 23, 2007, read first time and referred to Committee on Courts and Criminal Code.
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning
criminal law and procedure.
national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender
identity, or sex of the individual who owned or occupied
Sec. 2. If a person suffers a pecuniary loss because of the commission of an offense by a bias crime offender, the person may bring a civil action against the person that caused the loss.
Sec. 3. A person bringing an action under section 2 of this chapter may seek to recover the following:
(1) Actual and consequential damages.
(2) Punitive damages in an amount not more than three (3) times the person's actual damages.
(3) The costs of the action.
(4) Reasonable attorney's fees.
Sec. 4. A person may not recover damages under IC 34-24-3 and this chapter for the same offense.
probation, parole, pardon, community corrections placement, or
pretrial release granted to the person.
(7) The victim of the offense was mentally or physically infirm.
(8) The person was in a position having care, custody, or control of the victim of the offense.
(9) The injury to or death of the victim of the offense was the result of shaken baby syndrome (as defined in IC 16-41-40-2).
(10) The person threatened to harm the victim of the offense or a witness if the victim or witness told anyone about the offense.
(11) The person:
(A) committed trafficking with an inmate under IC 35-44-3-9; and
(B) is an employee of the penal facility.
(12) The person who committed the offense knowingly or intentionally:
(A) selected the individual who was injured by the offense; or
(B) damaged or otherwise affected property by the offense;
because of the color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex of the injured individual or of the owner or occupant of the property.
(b) The court may consider the following factors as mitigating circumstances or as favoring suspending the sentence and imposing probation:
(1) The crime neither caused nor threatened serious harm to persons or property, or the person did not contemplate that it would do so.
(2) The crime was the result of circumstances unlikely to recur.
(3) The victim of the crime induced or facilitated the offense.
(4) There are substantial grounds tending to excuse or justify the crime, though failing to establish a defense.
(5) The person acted under strong provocation.
(6) The person has no history of delinquency or criminal activity, or the person has led a law-abiding life for a substantial period before commission of the crime.
(7) The person is likely to respond affirmatively to probation or short term imprisonment.
(8) The character and attitudes of the person indicate that the person is unlikely to commit another crime.
(9) The person has made or will make restitution to the victim of the crime for the injury, damage, or loss sustained.
circumstances alleged. However, the state may not proceed against a
defendant under this section if a court determines at a pretrial hearing
under IC 35-36-9 that the defendant is a mentally retarded individual.
(b) The aggravating circumstances are as follows:
(1) The defendant committed the murder by intentionally killing the victim while committing or attempting to commit any of the following:
(A) Arson (IC 35-43-1-1).
(B) Burglary (IC 35-43-2-1).
(C) Child molesting (IC 35-42-4-3).
(D) Criminal deviate conduct (IC 35-42-4-2).
(E) Kidnapping (IC 35-42-3-2).
(F) Rape (IC 35-42-4-1).
(G) Robbery (IC 35-42-5-1).
(H) Carjacking (IC 35-42-5-2).
(I) Criminal gang activity (IC 35-45-9-3).
(J) Dealing in cocaine or a narcotic drug (IC 35-48-4-1).
(2) The defendant committed the murder by the unlawful detonation of an explosive with intent to injure person or damage property.
(3) The defendant committed the murder by lying in wait.
(4) The defendant who committed the murder was hired to kill.
(5) The defendant committed the murder by hiring another person to kill.
(6) The victim of the murder was a corrections employee, probation officer, parole officer, community corrections worker, home detention officer, fireman, judge, or law enforcement officer, and either:
(A) the victim was acting in the course of duty; or
(B) the murder was motivated by an act the victim performed while acting in the course of duty.
(7) The defendant has been convicted of another murder.
(8) The defendant has committed another murder, at any time, regardless of whether the defendant has been convicted of that other murder.
(9) The defendant was:
(A) under the custody of the department of correction;
(B) under the custody of a county sheriff;
(C) on probation after receiving a sentence for the commission of a felony; or
(D) on parole;
at the time the murder was committed.
requirements of law was substantially impaired as a result of
mental disease or defect or of intoxication.
(7) The defendant was less than eighteen (18) years of age at the time the murder was committed.
(8) Any other circumstances appropriate for consideration.
(d) If the defendant was convicted of murder in a jury trial, the jury shall reconvene for the sentencing hearing. If the trial was to the court, or the judgment was entered on a guilty plea, the court alone shall conduct the sentencing hearing. The jury or the court may consider all the evidence introduced at the trial stage of the proceedings, together with new evidence presented at the sentencing hearing. The court shall instruct the jury concerning the statutory penalties for murder and any other offenses for which the defendant was convicted, the potential for consecutive or concurrent sentencing, and the availability of good time credit and clemency. The court shall instruct the jury that, in order for the jury to recommend to the court that the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole should be imposed, the jury must find at least one (1) aggravating circumstance beyond a reasonable doubt as described in subsection (l) and shall provide a special verdict form for each aggravating circumstance alleged. The defendant may present any additional evidence relevant to:
(1) the aggravating circumstances alleged; or
(2) any of the mitigating circumstances listed in subsection (c).
(e) For a defendant sentenced after June 30, 2002, except as provided by IC 35-36-9, if the hearing is by jury, the jury shall recommend to the court whether the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole, or neither, should be imposed. The jury may recommend:
(1) the death penalty; or
(2) life imprisonment without parole;
only if it makes the findings described in subsection (l). If the jury reaches a sentencing recommendation, the court shall sentence the defendant accordingly. After a court pronounces sentence, a representative of the victim's family and friends may present a statement regarding the impact of the crime on family and friends. The impact statement may be submitted in writing or given orally by the representative. The statement shall be given in the presence of the defendant.
(f) If a jury is unable to agree on a sentence recommendation after reasonable deliberations, the court shall discharge the jury and proceed as if the hearing had been to the court alone.
(g) If the hearing is to the court alone, except as provided by
IC 35-36-9, the court shall:
(1) sentence the defendant to death; or
(2) impose a term of life imprisonment without parole;
only if it makes the findings described in subsection (l).
(h) If a court sentences a defendant to death, the court shall order the defendant's execution to be carried out not later than one (1) year and one (1) day after the date the defendant was convicted. The supreme court has exclusive jurisdiction to stay the execution of a death sentence. If the supreme court stays the execution of a death sentence, the supreme court shall order a new date for the defendant's execution.
(i) If a person sentenced to death by a court files a petition for post-conviction relief, the court, not later than ninety (90) days after the date the petition is filed, shall set a date to hold a hearing to consider the petition. If a court does not, within the ninety (90) day period, set the date to hold the hearing to consider the petition, the court's failure to set the hearing date is not a basis for additional post-conviction relief. The attorney general shall answer the petition for post-conviction relief on behalf of the state. At the request of the attorney general, a prosecuting attorney shall assist the attorney general. The court shall enter written findings of fact and conclusions of law concerning the petition not later than ninety (90) days after the date the hearing concludes. However, if the court determines that the petition is without merit, the court may dismiss the petition within ninety (90) days without conducting a hearing under this subsection.
(j) A death sentence is subject to automatic review by the supreme court. The review, which shall be heard under rules adopted by the supreme court, shall be given priority over all other cases. The supreme court's review must take into consideration all claims that the:
(1) conviction or sentence was in violation of the:
(A) Constitution of the State of Indiana; or
(B) Constitution of the United States;
(2) sentencing court was without jurisdiction to impose a sentence; and
(A) exceeds the maximum sentence authorized by law; or
(B) is otherwise erroneous.
If the supreme court cannot complete its review by the date set by the sentencing court for the defendant's execution under subsection (h), the supreme court shall stay the execution of the death sentence and set a new date to carry out the defendant's execution.
(k) A person who has been sentenced to death and who has
completed state post-conviction review proceedings may file a written
petition with the supreme court seeking to present new evidence
challenging the person's guilt or the appropriateness of the death
sentence if the person serves notice on the attorney general. The
supreme court shall determine, with or without a hearing, whether the
person has presented previously undiscovered evidence that
undermines confidence in the conviction or the death sentence. If
necessary, the supreme court may remand the case to the trial court for
an evidentiary hearing to consider the new evidence and its effect on
the person's conviction and death sentence. The supreme court may not
make a determination in the person's favor nor make a decision to
remand the case to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing without
first providing the attorney general with an opportunity to be heard on
(l) Before a sentence may be imposed under this section, the jury, in a proceeding under subsection (e), or the court, in a proceeding under subsection (g), must find that:
(1) the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that at least one (1) of the aggravating circumstances listed in subsection (b) exists; and
(2) any mitigating circumstances that exist are outweighed by the aggravating circumstance or circumstances.